I caught a glimpse of you through the window one afternoon. The sun was just at that spot where I had to squint to see. I watched you while you helped your brother practice his pitches. I watched you knowing that you wanted to do something else, but saw you were determined to help him feel successful. I remembered staying outside with you until the sun began to set as you tried to take your first steps.
I caught a glimpse of you as I walked down the hallway bleary eyed in the morning, rushing to get my first cup of coffee. I stopped in my tracks as you stood in the bathroom, tall, confident, and busy doing your hair for school. I saw you standing there and remembered the days when I washed that very hair.
I caught a glimpse of you laughing with your friends and it brought a smile to my face. It reminded me of how much your dad and I loved to make you laugh. Those initial baby laughs were the sound of pure joy.
I caught a glimpse of you as you ran around the yard pretending to be a professional baseball player. I remembered your tears after your first T-ball game because you were so tired and wanted to take a nap.
I caught a glimpse of you sleeping soundly in your bed with your long limbs, and feet that suddenly peek out from the bottom of the comforter. I remembered when you fit in my arms. I remembered when I would place your tiny little body into a crib and hope and pray that you would sleep for more than an hour. Now there are times I secretly wish you would wake up just to talk to me for a little while before I go to sleep.
I caught a glimpse of you. You are kind. You are smart. You are considerate. You are loving. You are a good friend. You are polite. You are gracious. You are thankful. You are curious. You are everything I imagined you would be when you first wrapped your tiny fingers around mine.
I caught a glimpse and it stopped me in my tracks because I have no idea how time could have possibly moved this quickly. As much as I loved who you were, I love who you are becoming more every day. I loved your baby feet. I loved your chubby legs. I loved your giggles. I loved the way you looked at me when I picked you up with your arms held up to the sky. I loved it all. I caught a glimpse of you, though. I caught a glimpse of who you are and who you have the potential to be, and I'm excited for the next stage. I'm always going to love who you were, but I'm going to try to stop missing the stages that have passed so that I can start enjoying the stage we are in together.
One day you will understand. Parenthood is amazing, but it's hard. The hardest part is the letting go, especially when you catch a glimpse.
This piece originally appeared on Outsmarted Mommy.